Sometimes your internal champion doesn’t have the resources or staff to shepherd your efficiency project. If that’s the case, what do you do?
One thing to keep in mind is that in today’s economy, most prospects will feel overtasked, overstressed, and understaffed. Another thing to remember is that most people in our business are what I call “accidental salespeople,” a reference to Chris Lytle’s bestselling book. These aren’t people who said, “I want to be a salesman!” when they were kids. So, if you put those buyers and sellers together, how many projects will get sold? Not as many as should be!
Years ago I heard some memorable advice: “You can’t give a gift that you don’t own.” Your job is to know what you have to offer and illustrate it in a concise, compelling and convincing way. That is your gift. There are several ways to articulate it. Perhaps it’s redrafting your proposal so that it’s a very compelling single-page narrative. Or taking the time to understand exactly which yardstick your prospect uses to measure their own success so that you can reframe your proposal’s benefits so they can be measured by that yardstick. Or maybe you should research the questions and case studies that would be most likely to capture the attention of a distracted decision-maker.
You can’t control our current economic state or the hurdles your prospects may be facing. However, the good news is that everything else is up to you. Regardless of what approach you choose to take, at the end of the day you need to arm your internal champion with the right tools to sell your project up the decision-making ladder. Memorable elevator pitches that are segment-specific and worth repeating to other. Compelling one-page proposals that a decision-maker can read and take action on in five minutes or less. Easy-to-grasp one-page financial analyses to prove the underlying value. Those “gifts” will enable your internal champion to sell your project for you, whether or not you have a seat at the table when the decision is being made.